Live By the Sword

A LoTR-inspired poem.

Based upon the book by J. R. R. Tolkien

Through good and through ill we have pressed long and hard

And our journey is not at an end

The dark, flaming mountains beckon from afar

By now, we are all made good friends

I walk by their side and lead through, and lead on

For time presses; but still, as we go

They seem to me distant, and cold, and alone

And inside me, this one thing I know:

Friends may we be, but the quest has a cost

Every moment now one of us may be lost

So they know; so I know, and then fail me all words

When I look at them live by the sword

No room in their world is for friendship that lasts

Life fleets, short and bitter, each day

The most they can hope for, and also the best

Is to live to the end of the way

Yes, they smile, and reach out, and try to comfort

But what good is comfort in cold death?

So they close their hearts, and march on, and march forth

And quietly savor each breath

And stop not on the way, for there will be no peace

Till the quest will be done, the end found

They must keep on their guard, and be strong and be hard

With heads bloodied - but ever unbound

There are sights on the way, and the world sometimes smiles

And calls to them - look, love and keep

But there will be no love, not for too long a while

Not to see, not to hope, not to weep

Only battle ahead, only way to be walked

When one must, one can no longer feel

Not to laugh, not to sing, not to tell, not to talk

Not to find either glamour or thrill

They live by the sword; that is why they still live

All they have is the sword and the fight

And today come what may but as long as they breath

They tomorrow hope to see light

So I walk by their side and love them, one and all

Though love has no place on the quest

They live by the sword - and gladly pay the toll

Of love

And of hope

And of peace